Battling to come up with ideas to keep your small children busy and engaged? Here’s something a bit different that will help them get some exercise and keep your muscles moving at the same time.
Children aged 1 to 4
The secret of getting children this age to enjoy some exercise is to always make it fun! Join them as they participate in these games designed to get them moving.
– Build an obstacle course: An obstacle course is a great way to stimulate the kids. You can use cushions, blankets, chairs or anything similar to create the obstacles. They can also crawl underneath a table from one side to the other, hop on one leg, roll on the floor, toss soft balls (or a piece of paper crumpled up into a ball) into a laundry basket, etc. You could be the scary monster who chases them through the designated course, which will make it fun and also get them to move a bit faster.
– Hide-and-seek stuffed animals: Collect a number of stuffed animals and then get the kids to close their eyes while you hide the toys. They must search for the stuffed animals until all are found. You can even use a stopwatch to get the kids to hurry. Or give a small prize to the child that collects the most toys.
– Animal walk: Show the kids how to hop like a frog, gallop like a horse, walk like a bear on all fours, etc., and then go around the house together doing each action.
– Keep the balloon up: Show the kids how to keep a balloon afloat by using their hands to pat it before it touches the floor. They can also try to use their feet, knees or head. Run a competition to see who can keep their balloon off the ground the longest.
– Ball kicks: Most kids love to kick a ball, especially if there’s a challenge going on to see who can kick the ball the furthest.
– Balance beam: Use a plank of wood, a rope, or draw a line on the floor with chalk and let the kids practise their balancing skills. Show them how to keep their arms out straight to the side to assist with balance – which is also good arm exercise for you!
– Pillow walk: Set up a line of pillows on the floor and have the kids walk from one pillow to the other without stepping on the floor. This may sound easy but it’s a great activity to challenge their balancing skills.
– Catch: Throw different objects – like a balloon, rolled-up pair of socks or a ball – at your kid and get them to catch and throw it back. This is great for their hand-eye co-ordination as well as their gross and fine motor skills.
– Yoga for kids: This is a great way for you all to stretch and tone up those muscles together, as well as to learn to relax through proper breathing techniques. See how here.
Here are more way to exercise with your infant.
Sources: www.activeforlife.com; www.care.com; www.iol.co.za